Family of abducted gold medalist seeks justice

430

On 25 November 2014, Bibi Sajida and Haji Shaukat Ali, parents of Naseebullah, watered the flowers in their yard and made a teapot of black tea, as they usually did for their children when they returned from school and tuition. A little while later they received a phone call from a relative, informing them that Naseebullah had been abducted.

Naseebullah Badini, 27, was an undergraduate student at Noshki Degree College in 2014. In the evenings, he attended evening classes to learn English and computer skills. He was interested in sports. In fact, he was a red-belt holder of taekwondo and took part in national competitions. He had been learning taekwondo since he was five years of age. He participated in the national championships held in Faisalabad in 2011 and won a gold medal. But, besides all his educational and sports activities, he took over the responsibilities of his father and took care of his shop, the family’s source of income.

On 25 November 2014, he was at his father’s shop, a tent service in Qaziabad, Noshki, when some men entered the shop. “They called his name and he responded,” says Babul, his younger brother. “They tied his hands, blindfolded him and took him to their vehicles, a white Vitz and a Toyota car.” Babul could only watch helplessly. 

Babul was only 11 years old when he witnessed the tragic incident of his brother’s abduction and still has not recovered fully from the trauma. He faces difficulties in his studies, has concentration problems. Now a grown young man, he feels he would perhaps be unrecognizable to Naseebullah. “A few days before his abduction, Naseeb told me that he hadn’t received any birthday present. So, I managed to surprise him with a belated birthday cake. And that precious smile on his face always comes to my mind and I feel so helpless while missing him and remembering the moment when they took him in front of me and I could only helplessly scream,” Babul says.

Their elder brother, Aminullah, felt helpless too. He is partially paralysed and cannot walk. “Someone came to me and said they have taken Nasibullah”, he says. He is a tailor and his shop is not far from the place of the incident. “I asked someone to take me and follow the vehicles. We followed them till the vehicles entered the gate of Wing 110 of FC camp in Noshki,” Aminullah says.

Naseebullah’s mother says he had been suffering persistent headaches and had fainted many times in the shop. She shudders whenever she pictures her dear child in a torture cell. “During these 7 years, every second is an unbearable pain for me thinking how they would treat him in these hot summers and cold winters, whether they would give him cold water in these extremely hot days or a blanket in the freezing cold,” she says. She has become diabetic and has blood pressure problems. She says doctors think stress is the main reason for her poor health. She takes two shots of insulin injections every day. “I’m an unfortunate, helpless and miserable mother who waits every second to see her son. I have already died from within. I am just holding on in the hope that I would get to see my son. Every time someone knocks on the door, my heart says it’s him. His disappearance has closed all the doors of happiness in our family. We haven’t celebrated Eid for seven years, I sew clothes and buy his favorite shoes on each Eid hoping that he might return.”

She knocked all the possible doors for justice and begged for her son’s release but all she received were vague promises and assurance, and suggestions to keep silent otherwise it could be harmful to his well-being. “For seven years we kept silent.”

According to Mahnoor Baloch, his younger sister, Naseebullah was an obedient son, an extremely kind brother, and a positive-minded person who always sought to bring change in society. He was a student of arts and a topper in his class. His efforts for education were always appreciated by his professors as he considered education the only stair for his and his family’s brighter future. “As a teenager, despite facing several difficulties, he never quit and had the courage to dream high and pursue them,” she says.

Adinah, his seven-year-old nephew, cannot concentrate in school and is absent-minded. “My grandma is always crying. My uncle is taken by  (Pakistan’s security) forces. I want him back. I don’t want to study, I just want to find my uncle”, he says.